Monday, January 28, 2013

An Afternoon at Rehearsal: Brandi

In Signature in the Schools' premiere production of Revolution, actor and high school sophomore Brandi plays Basma Bouazizi, the younger sister of Tunisian revolutionary Mohammed Bouazizi. Below, Brandi takes us through a typical day at rehearsal:

A typical day of rehearsal involves the actors who are called for that day warming up with the directors with vocal exercises, stretching, and tasks involving concentration. After we are all warmed up, we jump into scene work. In rehearsals we typically run through scenes several times with the guidance of one of the directors and work on reactions, objectives, and relationships with other characters. In between working scenes, we occasionally do exercises that help with characterization and movement in-the-round. Each day we laugh and joke around, but when a serious scene is being worked or our attention is needed, we all are ready to concentrate. There is a good balance of fun and focus and you learn something new every day in rehearsal.

Reading lines for the first time.
Rehearsing  a scene with fellow actor Max while David, the director, looks on.

Catching Up with Karl

Actor and high school student Karl plays a quiet, intelligent teen named Zerah in Signature in the Schools' premiere production of Revolution. Here, Karl shares some insights into his experience as an actor in the show:

In three sentences describe your experience with Signature in the Schools.

Signature in the Schools has been a phenomenal experience so far. It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to work alongside such talented actors and dedicated directors. Signature Theatre has provided me great exposure to the field of theatre which has broadened my view on the arts, culture and life. 

How do you feel Signature in the Schools has helped prepare you for the future?

Personally, Signature in the Schools has done a fantastic job fostering dedication, commitment, and teamwork in me; all vital characteristics to success no matter where my future may take me.  
A wise man (David) once told me this story: The story takes place back in history, when it was custom to bring wedding gifts of wine to contribute to large vat at the wedding venue where everyone else was to contribute. The bride’s family constructed a large vat, and the following evening at the wedding reception everyone brought their best wine and poured it into the vat. When they poured the wine though, do you know what poured out? Water. Pure water. See, each person that came thought to themselves, "With such a large vat and everybody else contributing wine, nobody will notice if my contribution is water. The wine will taste no different." And so each person poured in water, assuming everybody else's wine would make up the difference. And indeed the vat was filled with 100%, pure water. And such is the lesson David taught us. When you work on a team it’s expected you bring your genuine “wine”, because if not, you’re left with something that doesn’t mean much to anyone: water. You can’t control what anyone else contributes but you can give your best. Don't give water, expecting everybody else to contribute wine for you. 

What’s your favorite scene in the show? Why?

My favorite scene would definitely be the scene between Caroline, Patrick, and Zerah in the cafeteria. I love this scene because it feels so authentic and real. I think we can all relate to Zerah, in having an experience when your best friend is crushing on the cute kid, and finally decides to heed your advice and strike a conversation. At that point all you can do a is sit back and watch your best friend either kindle a new relationship or have it go in flames. 

Karl working hard at rehearsal.
Karl participating in a line-through of his favorite scene.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Revolution: The Costumes

We're only a few weeks away from opening night for Revolution, the premiere Signature in the Schools play by Joe Calarco. As we prep for production, we thought you'd give you a sneak peak of some of the amazing costumes designer Collin Ranney is putting together for us. Needless to say, these designs have all of us very excited.

Caroline Barrett
Design by Collin Ranney

Marcus Bennington
Design by Collin Ranney

Andy Cranston
Design by Collin Ranney

Caryna Ruiz
Design by Collin Ranney

Revolution performs in the MAX at Signature on February 18th and 25th at 7:30 PM. Tickets for Revolution are free and available through the Signature Box Office at 703 820 9771.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

KidVids Part 2: French Connection

During Boot Camp, the first three weeks of rehearsal for Signature in the Schools: Revolution, the cast and crew learned all about the history behind the play. At the end of Boot Camp, they were asked to put together videos showing off what they'd learned.

Below is the video created by the second group: the French Connection. The group was assigned to create a video explaining how the French Revolution got started, including the monarchy's financial crisis and the beginnings of political upheaval. They chose to put their story in a modern setting - the overbearing King Corporation and its employees.

Check out the video below!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Update from Max

Actor and high school sophomore Max plays a troubled teen named Patrick in Signature in the Schools' premiere production of Revolution. We've asked Max to answer a couple of questions about his experience being part of the show:

What is your favorite scene in the show? Why? 
My favorite scene in Revolution is the final scene. The potential for shock it has is so immense. It is quite beautiful. 

What’s the funniest thing that has happened in rehearsal?
During rehearsals we were working on the scene where Caroline attempts to talk to me, and Ariel, who is playing Caroline, chokes on her own saliva mid-monologue. The awkwardness was hilarious.

What have been your favorite parts of Signature in the Schools so far?
My favorite part of Signature in the Schools has to be how the directors, cast and the ones who make the show WORK are all able to input valuable information that will make a certain scene or the performer themselves more authentic. It's almost like a family (as cliche as that sounds). 
Max hard at work.
The final scene being rehearsed, with Max in the center.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zak and Sean Discuss Sean and Zak

Zak and Sean play best friends in the Signature in the Schools premiere production, Revolution. In order to help you get to know them a little better, we thought we would put their friendship to the test. Are they friends off-stage as well as on? We'll let you be the judge.

Zak according to Zak
Zak according to Sean

Role in the Production
Andy Cranston
Favorite Musical/Play
Rumors by Neil Simon
(Rehearsal) Snack of Choice
Clif bar and water.
French fries/onion rings
Catch Phrase
Guys come on!!!!! 
Little-known fact
Loves Taylor Swift. <3
He has an exquisite collection of chartreuse rubber bands
Special Skills
Can grow a ponytail
Ten years down the road I will be…
Mayor of Acupulco, Mexico
Sean being Sean.

Sean according to Sean
Sean according to Zak
Role in the Production
Marcus Bennington
Favorite Musical/Play
Death of a Salesman
Revolution by Joe Calarco (obviously)
(Rehearsal) Snack of Choice
Cheddar and Sour Cream Chips
Catch Phrase
Pay attention to me!!!
"I know way too much about David Zobell."
Little-known fact
My freckles make the little dipper on my left arm
Knows way too much about David Zobell.
Ten years down the road I will be…
The night security guard at the New York Museum of Natural History 
An NFL All Star

Monday, January 14, 2013

In With the Interns: Marcella Toronto

From: Beijing, China (but I’m not Chinese…)

Favorite Musical: I’m a sucker for the classics - Les Mis, Into the Woods, West Side Story, etc – but I also love The Light in the Piazza

Favorite Play: Asylum by Jerome McDonough is definitely one of my favorites.

Favorite Movie: A Series of Unfortunate Events or Star Trek, depending on my mood.

Internship: Education Intern

Internship Start Date: Jan. 7th, 2013

Internship Duties: Assisting with the Signature in the Schools show, teaching workshops at local high schools, emailing, photocopying, and helping out our amazing Education Director however he needs me to!

Favorite things about DC: The food, the architecture, the culture.

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be? Apple pie (minus the flakiness). Who doesn’t love pie?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

KidVids Part 1: The Dolphin Revolution

During Boot Camp, the cast and crew of Revolution spent three weeks exploring the history behind the production, learning about revolutions in general, the Arab Spring and the French Revolution. In the final days of Boot Camp, they created videos to pull together everything they'd learned. Below is the first of these projects: The Dolphin Revolution.

This group was assigned to create an imaginary revolution that followed the four phases of revolution outlined in Crane Brinton's The Anatomy of Revolution, using a protest scenario about dolphins that we had used earlier in Boot Camp. The four phases of revolution are as follows:

1. The old government is failing
2. A combination of spontaneous uprising and organized resistance bursts into violence
3. The extremists take over
4. The terror subsides and there is a period of reaction

Check out the video below! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Signature in the Schools: Revolution

On December 17, the cast (and some of the crew) of the 2013 Signature in the Schools play, Revolution, met with playwright Joe Calarco to do a first read of the script. This week, we'll be continuing rehearsals with script work and staging.

Check out these pictures from our first read!

All photos courtesy of Adrian, our production archivist.


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